Friday 10 April, 2020

Banks race to prepare ATMs to dispense new $100 notes

Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

With little over two weeks to go until current $100 notes are no longer legal tender, banks are reassuring customers that they are working assiduously to ensure that ATMs are able to accept the new polymer $100 note within the shortest possible timeframe.

Banks have also asked customers for their understanding during this transition period.

But, while the Central Bank has already distributed the bills to commercial banks and the bills to be available to the public from tomorrow, at least two major banks are still working to get their ATMs ready to handle these new notes.

Republic Bank is one of the banks working with its vendors to configure its ATMs to dispense the new bills.

In response to an enquiry from Loop News on the bank’s readiness to handle the new polymer notes, the bank said they will not be available through its ATMs from tomorrow.

Asked what the alternative is for customers given that the ATMs are not configured when the new bills come into circulation tomorrow, the bank suggested that customers limit the amounts they withdraw to manage the number of cotton $100 bills in their possession.

It said most ABMs will still only be able to dispense the old $100 notes until they are recalibrated to handle the new polymer notes. 

“As an alternative, customers should make full use of our extensive Point of sale network to conduct transactions. Customers are free to come into our branches to withdraw, however, we encourage customers to use the POS network or electronic channels.”

The bank said customers can visit its branches to deposit their “old 100 dollar bills” if they wish, but they should continue to go about their business as usual as the current bills continue to be legal tender until December 31.

“Customers can also continue to use these bills to at commercial businesses who will then deposit them to their commercial banks as part of their normal banking business,” the bank said. 

It further noted that once the old bills are deposited to the banks, they will be taken out of circulation.

The bank has also made temporary adjustments to its banking hours from tomorrow to facilitate the exchange of old $100 bills for the new polymer bills.

The bank announced the new hours on its website:

Non-mall branches will operate from 8 am - 4 pm  Monday to Thursday and 8 am – 5 pm on Fridays with no closure during the day. All mall branches will maintain their regular hours of operation, 10 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Select branches will open on Saturdays from 9 am - 1 pm for the remainder of December.

North: Ellerslie, West Mall, Long Circular Mall, Glencoe, Diego Martin.

South/Central: South Park, Gulf City, Princes Town, Point Fortin, Centre City, Couva.

East: Arima, Valpark, Grand Bazaar, Trincity.

Tobago: Auchenskeoch.

All branches will open all day on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve.

Mall hours: 10 am - 5 pm

Non-mall hours: 8 am - 4 pm

Meanwhile, Scotiabank ATMs are also not configured to accept or dispense the new bills. However, the bank has assured that ATMs will continue to accept and pay out the existing TT$100 until the December 31 demonetisation deadline.

The bank encouraged customers to continue using digital channels – point of sale, cash merchant services, online banking - as far as possible to conduct transactions.

Business, Commercial and Corporate customers were encouraged to the more convenient and safe option of the night deposit facility for the duration of the year, given the situation.

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